Europe is one of the best places in the world to visit if you are thinking of taking a vacation. It has everything that a holidaymaker could possibly want. Europe’s beauty is in its diversity, there are so many different nations under one banner, with different languages, cultures, foods, religions, climates, there simply is no other place like it. For those visitors from North America, the first thing that strikes them is how easy it is to get from one country to another, an hour flight or six-hour train journey can transport a person from a beach to a snowy mountain top.
Many visitors to Europe want to immerse themselves in the history and culture that many European countries and cities have. Italy offers so much in the way of culture and Rome, “the eternal city” offers the discerning tourist a full tour of how the ancient Romans once lived. Nearby Florence and Venice are both UNESCO World Heritage sites, and architectural delights abound in both cities. If it is modern art and architecture that you prefer, a trip to Bilbao or Barcelona in Spain is well worthwhile. One of the most impressive museums in Spain is the Guggenheim in Bilbao, and if you are an art lover, Barcelona houses some of the finest Gaudi and Picasso masterpieces on the planet.
A great percentage of city dwellers in Europe like to take their holiday by the beach, and one of the most popular areas is down by the Mediterranean Sea. Countries, such as Spain, Greece, France, Italy, Croatia, have wonderful beach resorts to cater for every budget. But it is the Mediterranean islands that hold the greatest attraction, Majorca, Ibiza, Cyprus have great nightlife and fun for younger holidaymakers. For beauty and peace try, Capri, Rhodes, or Formentera.
From the sunny beaches to fantastic snowy pistes, Europe has it all. Europe has some of the oldest and best ski resorts in the world. Switzerland, France, Italy and Austria are the main players, but great skiing can also be found elsewhere in Europe. Some of the very best resorts are: La Plagne in the French Alps, Montgenevre in the Southern Alps, Saalbach Hinterglemm in Austria, and Kitzbuhel the legendary sports destination which is also an enchanting medieval town.
European cuisine encompasses just about every taste sensation known to man, some of the older cuisines are many centuries old and many visitors to Europe arrive on a gastronomic tour. Perhaps you should start your culinary journey in Paris, the home of classical European cuisine. The Parisians take their food very seriously and some of the world’s most renowned chefs hail from France. Italian food is loved the world over, from simple Neapolitan pizzas to delicious pastas all over the country. Greece is the place for perfect Tapas and delightful Mesas, whilst some of the best wild salmon can be found in Norway and Sweden.
This foray into holiday destinations continues in Part 2, where we will be exploring even more of Europe’s hidden gems.